counter for wordpress

☞ The End

September 23rd, 2012

Well folks, as the title implies this here’s the end.
It pains me to no great measure to have to retire Versions Galore my little glorified hobby, but ‘the man’ has made it fairly untenable by, yet again, yanking all my links.
The prospect of finding yet another new storage service is rather moot too, as some seem to relish playing cat and mouse as a fulltime job.
For the mouse however, it’s become beyond irritating and it’s time to move on.
A big tearful thanks to all my regular followers; Pauline, Iha, Ste, Stella, Jonder, Marco and others (sorry if I’ve forgotten you) and to everyone else that dropped by.

Thanks for a fun filled 4 years…
Leopold Stotch

PS For those that liked reading my rambling(or just enjoyed the pretty pictures) I’ll leave the site up for a little while, ditto for those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub

Flashback Friday:Pretty Fly

September 21st, 2012

It’s Flashback Friday time again. So today we’re setting the Versions wayback machine for, well, really only about a year ago, when we ran a rather fat post on Human Fly by late great psychobilly pioneers The Cramps (and where I also rambled on at length about the importance of a good T-shirt). So here’s a few new cuts, a few we missed and a few I was finally able to get my little black gloves on.
Right off the bat was one I believe came shortly after the original post, a great dirty lo-fi garage version by Hanni El Khatib (on Jamie Strong’s also ridiculously great and somewhat new-ish label Innovative Leisure). Next are two cute, 1-woman, minimal experimental renditions from France; one by the  hotness that is Drunken C & Madame B, the other from mysterious Homme Jasmin. Also getting weird is Germany’s Sankt Otten, who put their collection of vintage analog synths to good use. And lastly is Japanese Cramps tribute act Tokyo Cramps. All in all a fairly straightforward Cramps cover but with the added charm of hearing them sing ‘I’m a Humanu Fu-rye!’.

Hanni El Khatib – Human Fly
Drunken C & Madame B – Human Fly
Homme Jasmin – Human Fly
Sankt Otten – Human Fly
Tokyo Cramps – Human Fly

Check out the original post here… 


PS Reborn maggots of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fan Club who missed out on the original the first time round, back on the wall it goes…


Flower Child

September 16th, 2012

Most folks tend to know Minnie Riperton via her octave breaching signature 70s hit Loving You, and for giving us doe-eyed funny girl Maya Rudolph (her daughter with composer and husband Richard Rudolph) . However any rare groove merchant worth his or her dusty fingers will tell you it ends far far from there. Riperton started her career singing backup for her childhood idols (Check Berry, Ramsey Lewis, Etta James) before joining hippie soul collective Rotary Connection. From there it was upwards to her solo career as a staple 70s folk soul singer. Lurking behind the shadow of Loving You are a handful of solid albums and whose tracks have not gone unoticed, nor unsampled, by hip hop artists like Tribe Called Quest, Dr. Dre, Cut Chemist etc., the list is ever growing.
For those that just want to enjoy some beautiful urban folk, my money’s has always been on Riperton’s Les Fleur. A simple yet epic ode to a flower, it’s where the sound of 60s idealism collides with 70s soul, wrapped up in in a whirlwind of psychedelic orchestration. All that desererved hyperbole aside, Loving You can kiss it’s ass.
I’m kind of giddy for this sunday morning post as we got a handful of stellar Les FLeur interpretations from some of my personal favorites. Keeping that grandiose sounding funk intact are broken beat/phuture jazz pioneers 4 Hero, who have made a career of  taking their Rotary Connection influence off their sleeve and rewiring it. Next is the UK duo Chungking, whose easy on the eyes lead singer Jessie Banks practically coos her lush downtempo version into your left ear. Also really digging The Decoders take. The Decoders, known for providing arrangements for peeps like TV on The Radio and Quantic, change things up with a quality, smooth skanking reggae version with male vocalist, and MuthaWit Orchestra founder, Boston Fielder. And lastly is jazz great Ramsey Lewis. Technically the original composer of Les Fleur (along with Richard Rudolph) we have his original 1968 instrumental and later, smoother 1983 remake (not my cup of tea but definitely one for the completists)

4 hero – Les Fleur
Chungking – Les Fleur
The Decoders (feat. Boston Fielder) – Les Fleur

Ramsey Lewis – Les Fleur (1968 Maiden Voyage version)
Ramsey Lewis – Les Fleur (1983 version)


PS Flower children of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fan Club, original Fleur and a nice little re-edit on the wall for ya…



You Blockhead!

September 12th, 2012

During it’s fetid late 70s heyday the US may have had mutant disco masterminds like James Chance or Cristina, but the UK had it’s own homegrown funk punk, the late Ian Dury and The Blockheads. The man himself was a triumph of adversity. Contracting polio from a swimming pool at the age of 7, Ian was left crippled. He was then relegated to a bleak British disability hospital but rather than marinate in self pity, his condition and environment would toughen him up. Something of a whiz in high school he would dropout early (with high marks) to go into art school. From there he went on to be an illustrator for UK Sunday Times as well as being a part time art teacher.
Not really satisfied with that life either he eventually found his calling in the tried and true panacea of “sex & drugs & rock & roll“. After various fits and starts during the early 70s Dury found purchase, as Ian Dury and the Blockheads, in the burgeoning punk scene. However unlike his 3 chord colleagues, Dury drew from the influences of his bandmates (including the incandescent Chaz Jenkel, watch for a future VG post) taking punks’s snarling energy and attitude and infusing it with disco, jazz, reggae, whatever he could grab hold to to come up with something unique. All packaged up in fancy Barney Bubbles designed sleeves, musical results included UK hits like Spasticus Autisticus, Reasons To Be Cheerful and today’s cover canapé, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick. Kept at bay in a #2 slot by the Village Peoples’ YMCA, it would eventually squeak past to become a #1 in January 1979. While Ian kept himself busy for 20 plus years with a steady diet of making music, touring as well as acting ( with bit parts in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, the original Judge Dredd and others) he would eventually succumb to cancer in 2000. On that note if you haven’t had a chance see the Ian Dury biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll with one of my fave character actors Andy Serkis (AKA Golem AKA King Kong AKA Caesar from Planet of the Apes AKA John D’Auban), throw it to the top of your Netflix queue.
Ian Dury’s legacy lives on, not in the least of which is musical tributes.
Today we got not one, but two ,female leads taking control of Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick.
Fiirst is Telonious (from infallibale Gomma imprint) with and electro-disco cover and hot on the high heels is a fun lounge-y version courtesy of Brazil’s answer to Nouvelle Vague, Pastel Vespa.

Telonius – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
Pastel Vespa – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick


PS Blockheads of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fan Club, got orginal and a re-edit on the wall for ya…


September 8th, 2012

As the title implies, I’ve been buried alive, under deadlines. Surfacing however for a quick post. Two covers of soulful yet enigmatic UK dubstep proudcer (the good kind) William Bevan AKA Burial. One oh-so-hot genre shakes hands with another with, ironically misnomed, Banjo Or Freakout‘s neo-shoegaze version. And the other, a haunting rendition by Canadian deathfolk (look I just coined a genre!) artists Ghostly Graves.

Banjo or Freakout – Archangel
Ghostly Graves – Archangel


PS Fallen angels of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanpage, orginal is on the wall for ya…

Strong Arm Steady

September 5th, 2012

“Like a bird,
on the wing
I just wanna be free enough to do my thing”

Some days are headphone days. Headphones and a good walk. Actually make that walk a full blown head bobbing, bicep curling strut. And music to strut to today; Hercules by Aaron Neville. Hercules actually puts the ‘rare’ in rare groove as the original pressings of this 1973 funk 45 were all but impossible to find. Pressed on sub-standard styrene rather than vinyl, copies would sonically disentegrate only after a few plays, making it (at least until it’s re-issue) something of a holy grail for beat merchants. Funk fanatics also take note; backing band putting the groove in Aaron’s urban hymn is none other than The Meters. Easy to see why, with all those ingredients, that Hercules is also venerated sample fodder amongst the hip hop set.
Paying homage today is the Franco-Jamaican-soul sounds of Blundetto (with enlisted help from cover king Shawn Lee). They’re always esteemed around these parts, so I’m leading with their slow and low cover. There is also Boz Scaggs’, (yes that BOZ SCAGGS, don’t hate.) version making the #2 slot with an epic sounding cut. Broken Beat/Phuture Jazz auteur Alex Attias under his Beatless moniker also gets slow with his faithful downtempo take. And last, but far far from least, is go-to percussionist Mike Dillion (AKA Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle) who rolls out the vibraphone for his spacey yet soulful undertaking.

Blundetto (with Hugh Coltman & Shawn Lee) – Hercules
Boz Scaggs – Hercules
Beatless – Hercules
Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle – Hercules


PS Lucky strongmen (and women) of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub, got original and bonus beats waiting for you on the wall….

Going Viral

September 1st, 2012

Got another left of the dial 80s classic today, Infected by The The. Taken from the eponymous album, Infected saw The The’s Matt Johnson taking his earlier penchant for pop, and lyrical angst during his Burning Blue Soul and Soul Mining years, and using it to file his teeth into something darker. Though the idea of concept albums were almost a decade dead and buried at that point Infected‘s disparate yet extremely cohesive tracks about lust, war and “America” (as an ominous entity. A big thing during the 80s.) was about as close to any post punk/new wave idea of a King Crimson double gatefold as you’d likely get. Blowing open the doors of that album was the first and title track, Infected, a loud, shouty , energetic affair that left no doubt that this was Matt 3.0.
Surprisingly The The got big but never massive, despite the successes of his duet alums like Neneh Cherry and Sinead O’Connor. However seeing Johnny Marr jump ship from The Smiths into Johnson’s entourage (for Mind Bomb) pretty much speaks volumes about musical reputation and respect.
Which leaves us with today’s lone, but brilliant, cover by David Shaw and The Beat. Shaw’s soulful electro-disco version manages to slow down Infected‘s tempo without out losing a shrapnel of it’s original infectious vitality. Easy to see why this guy has a shelf of accolades from the likes Black Strobe, Shit Robot and Optimo and other electro-crats.

David Shaw and The Beat – Infected


PS For those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub who didn’t catch it the first time around, original Infected is on the wall. Expose yourself.

Ital Breakfast

August 29th, 2012

I love Blake Edwards films;The Party, the Pink Panther series, and today’s subject, Breakfast At Tiffany’s. What I especially love however are his soiree scenes. The man is veritable auteur of party antics and behavior. His conducting of straight guests and bumbling pratfallers has all the precision and wit of a Rube Goldberg contraption. Not surprisingly I am also big fan of his chief composer Henry Mancini, the king of versatile cover versions. One can take any of his tunes, and all are malleable, like today’s example, Moon River, and there are literally dozens of easy listening, folk/acoustic, rock, bossa nova, indie and funk/soul renditions. Which leads us to Moon River and reggae. Not quite sure why musicians of the latter took to Mancini’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme, other than the fact Jamaicans have always been fanatical for American film and really know how to take a classic love song and rework it into some real Kinsgton style soul. Of which we’ve got six dynamite classic reggae, rocksteady and ska covers of Audrey Hepburn’s finest from The Jubilees, B.B. Seaton, Alton Ellis, Greyhound, Byron Lee & The Dragonaires and Johnny Arthey Orchestra (AKA Reggae Strings).

The Jubilees – Moon River
B.B. Seaton – Moon River
Alton Ellis – Moon River
Greyhound – Moon River
Byron Lee & The Dragonaires – Moon River
Johnny Arthey Orchestra (Reggae Strings) – Moon River


PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub with a mega crushes on Audrey Hepburn, but can’t understand why they always had to bring in a vocal double for her singing parts, got her version of Moon River on the wall for you…


August 26th, 2012

Strawberry Switchblade. I’ve always had a soft spot for this unsung 80s duo. Back when I was a wee teen dabbling in goth I came across a pic of Rose McDowall & Jill Bryson on the cover of UK new wave pin up mag Smash Hits. No need to hear them. With their Siouxsie in overdrive makeup, Victorian outfits and almost Yayoi Kusama level of fetish for polka dots, their image fluttered deep in my stomach, AKA that telling midpoint between my brain and my trousers. When I finally got my black mittens on the vinyl I gave the lace and eyelined covered album a whirl. Despite their early Jesus and Mary Chain veneer and black lipped Scottish sneers I was supremely pissed to discover on first listen that they were decidedly way more Strawberry than Switchblade, in fact they were straight up synth pop. That said I smartly resisted the urge to turn the record into a UFO and after repeated listens the somewhat sad sublime lyrics and undercurrents of Velvet Underground influence would eventually win over my head, while the sugar coated cooing went to work melting the soles off my creepers. Though they had a huge push from John Peel, major label love from Warners and production via Bill Drummond (KLF, Echo & The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes) Strawberry Switchblade would burn out after only one album and a handful of singles. Despite being the next best thing since sliced kamaboko in Japan, they barely charted in the UK and to this day are often unfairly punished with the ‘one hit wonder’ tag.
Gone but certainly not forgotten, Jill is now a painter and Rose keeps a somewhat low profile in the music world collaborating with the likes of Primal Scream, Coil (RIP), Psychic TV, Boyd Rice and other esoteric projects. The Strawberry’s pyscho-sweet Victorian look lives on in the Japanese Lolita Goth subculture (which it predated by 2 decades) as well as being the subject of numerous articles in trendy style rags and much fawning over by the kiddies of today on Tumblr. And for those of us cover collecting geeks their version of Dolly Parton’s Jolene is a classic (at least around these parts it is).
And so speaking of covers we have Los Angeles’ Dum Dum Girls who wisely pay tribute to where tribute is due with a sweet, spacey lo-fi indie rendtion of Strawberry Switchblade’s Trees & Flowers.

Dum Dum Girls – Trees And Flowers


PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub with a penchant for polka dots, got the original and bonus rare versions on the wall for you…

Superstitious Behavior

August 22nd, 2012

For the most part I don’t consider myself superstitious about anything; No black cats, no ghosts, no bigfoots, no ufos and no books involving talking snakes and zombie messiahs (though when put that way that last one sounds kind of rad). I do however have a few borderline one that are probably more a case of bad OCD than anything else. ‘Fours’ of anything are to be avoided (Japanese bad luck number), when pumping gas the final tally has to be rounded up (i.e., $60 instead of $59.82), and I’ve been known to get all kind of Joan Crawford-y about ball point pens being in the house. Anyway those are my weirdo quirks. What are yours?
I do know of one person who IS superstitious, and that’s Stevie Wonder. No ladders. No broken glass. Hell the man even hates “Thirteen month old bab(ies)”, as all outlaid in his classic Superstition.
Today we got a cauldron of Versions Galore handpicked cautious folk. Leading with faves, I’m really digging a rare Jamaican funk/reggae cover by Blooblo, a lo-fi funk version from the always brilliant Yesterdays New Quintet, a ‘far out there, man’ psychedelic one from ‘the Quad-father’ Hugo Montenegro, a lounge/Vegas version from Mel Torme, and what sounds like what happens when you mix too much Colt 45 and Robitussin from Dimthings.
Next set I’m loving is a set of soul sister Superstitions from the Saigon Show Band, Shirley Scott and Estelle.
And last, but certainly not least, the remaining are handful of of funk and soul renditions that give old Stevie a run for his braid beads.

Blooblo – Superstition
Yesterdays New Quintet – Superstition
Hugo Montenegro – Superstition
Mel Torme – Superstition
Dimthings – Superstition

Saigon Show Band – Superstition
Shirley Scott – Superstition
Estelle – Superstition

Sergio Mendes & Brasil 77 – Superstition
Peter Nero – Superstition
Fred Goodtaste (AKA Fred Bongusto) – Superstition
Ahmad Jamal – Superstition
Charles Kynard – Superstition
Leon Spencer – Superstition
Peter Herbolzheimer Rhythm Combination & Brass – Superstition
Quincy Jones – Superstition


PS Bonus Stevie beats for those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub, you know where to look…


Cloudy Future

August 18th, 2012

So today’s post I actually put to a vote by asking a handful of friends: When a band re-visits one of their classics in a new fashion, is it still considered a ‘cover’? Instead of lenthy postmodern replies laden with nerd words like ‘meta-narrative’, the response was more a resounding ‘Fuckit, it’s like YOUR blog dude’. Hurrah for the yes-friends! Which of course means hurrah for you as I’ve got 2 covers of Little Fluffy Clouds from The Orb by The Orb. And how very Orb (AKA Alex Paterson)-like, being the consument techno/ambient prankster that he is, to not only re-interpret (twice!) his best known track but to take the piss as well. First up is Grey Clouds which The Orb substitutes Rickie Lee Jones’ cloud chatter with cockney comedian/alter ego Alan Parker on Britain’s lovely weather. And next is someone I’m sure Patterson has been wetting his baggy Balearic trousers to work with his whole life; genius reggae producer and 53 cards short of a deck mad man, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. Similar to the Parker track, Perry’s ramblings replace Jones’ but over a radically reworked version. Incidentally Rickie Lee Jones was titillated at being sampled on the original version, and called off her record companies attempts at suing The Orb for unauthorized samples.
Oh and Orb aside we’ve also got a fun, and rather dramatic sounding classical version from the eponymously-named Instrumental.

The Orb feat Alan Parker – Grey Clouds (AKA Little Fluffy Clouds)
The Orb feat Lee Scratch Perry – Golden Clouds (AKA Little Fluffy Clouds)
Instrumental – Little Fluffy Clouds


PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub still wondering what the skys were like when we were young, got the original on the wall for you…

Shedding Tears

August 12th, 2012

Time to bust out your largest bangles, silk blouse and hoop earrings and prepare to cut a rug for the husband and wife team of Linda and Cecil Womack (better known simply as Womack & Womack) who undergo the cover treatment today. We got 4 Versions heavy vetted (sorry Elton, Sugababes, and, ugh, Joss) renditions of their 80s R&B hit Teardrops.
Not sure whether to laugh or dance at /with Germany’s normally indie rock Hank, who turns out a fun short n’ cheeky disco version. Speaking of indie there was a brilliant take from hipster darlings The XX, who slow theirs to a somber and soulful early Cure-like number. Broken Beat/Future Jazz always gets top billing around here and Wah Wah 45s’ Max Cole is no exception with his dreamy downtempo duet with Lucy May. And lastly if those were all too straight forward for your tastes there was also a very abstract electronic version by Becoming Real. Dance-able? Perhaps if you’re Crispen Glover (who, incidentally, works out at my gym).

Hank – Teardrops
The XX – Teardrops
Max Cole (Feat Lucy May) – Teardrops
Becoming Real – Teardrops


PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub pondering how a man wearing a flip-flop as an accessory (see Cecil’s right shoulder above) could ever sound sincere, got the original and a re-edit just waiting on the wall for you…

Top Of The Pops

August 9th, 2012

Up to my receding hairline with the day job, so today’s entry is going to be both pithy and brief:
Public Image Ltd (PiL) were a million times better than the Sex Pistols. Fact.
• Got 5 leftfield/experimental/odd indie cuts of PiL’s postpunk pièce de résistance Poptones; Tropics Of Cancer (sweet, lo-fi, bossanova-esque, Japanese-ish), The King Of Luxembourg (atmospheric, Eno-ish), A Group (weird, slow torch song-eque), Jared Louche (dark cabaret-like) and China Girl (experimental/8bit-ish/also cute).

The Tropics Of Cancer – Poptones
The King Of Luxembourg – Poptones
A Group – Poptones
Jared Louche – Poptones
China Girl – Poptones 


PS Hipster kiddies of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub who weren’t even close to being born in 1979 (let alone ’89) and thus needing some necessary street cred to go with those Acne slim cuts and fancy cardigans from Opening Ceremony, got the original on the wall for you 🙂

Scream Team

August 6th, 2012

Dubstep, at least up until the last couple years, has been defined by it’s sparseness. A slow, raw plodding beat, heavy but simplistic bass line and punctuated by the occasional echoing atmosperic stabs. But despite being a big fan of both dub and electronic music, to me it always sounded half-finished rather than well measured, and that 98% of it lacked of any kind discernable soul. Fast forwarding to now, and we can see it has evolved, not without mixed results, and bloomed into it’s inevitable mainstream incarnations. On one hand you have the meretricious Scrillex whose brand of “Dubstep” (and I can’t make those quote signs big enough) seems only to cater dance music to fans of Insane Clown Posse. On the other, you have the soulful Jame Blake. Up till very recent, Blake had cut his teeth with a handful of minimalist dubstep singles before smartly deciding to change tack. With songs like Limit To Your Love and today’s feature, The Wilhelm Scream, he’s wisely used that sparse electronica as a tool to finally craft some poignant, almost tear inducing soul. Fun fact: Blake’s Wilhelm is actually a clever re-working of his own father, James Litherland’s song Where to Turn.
And speaking of soul we start with my top Wilhelm pick today. No stranger to covers (especially not around these parts) are The Bamboos, who’ve eschewed the usual inspired funk instrumentals by enlisting hot n’ nerdy Aussie vocalist Megan Washington for a brilliant Stax/Motown-sounding version. Also soulful is London’s Kwabena Adjepong AKA Kwabs, who with his smooth looks and even smoother voice could easily be the next Mozez or Aloe Black. Someone out there throw that man a record deal. Got two acoustic versions via the Fleet Foxes and Awning. And lastly there were three standard sounding cuts (in the Blake-ian sense) from StellaLePage, Vows, and Tapioca and the Flea.

The Bamboos (Feat. Megan Washington) – The Wilhelm Scream
Kwabs – The Wilhelm Scream
Fleet Foxes – The Wilhelm Scream
Awning – The Wilhelm Scream
StellaLePage – The Wilhelm Scream

Vows – The Wilhelm Scream
Tapioca and the Flea – The Wilhelm Scream


PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub screaming for the original, got that, a handful of live cuts and his father’s original source material up on the wall…

Slippery People

August 3rd, 2012

So I finally joined the 21st century and got Netflix On Demand, which, btw, is utter shite.There are a few gems in there however not the least which is Breaking Bad, of which I’d also been sleeping on up until about two weeks ago (yeah yeah I gotta join this decade as well). Anyway watching poor Walt go down the rabbit hole, all I can hear in the back of my head is the War song Slippin’ Into Darkness. I’m sure we’ve all had our moments, I know I certainly have. Though my demons probably stop a little short of cooking meth and literally dissolving the competition (I once ate cupcakes everyday for like an entire month. Just call me the Heisenberg of Sprinkles). Anyway I’ve just cracked into Season 4 of BB so Shhhhhh, don’t anybody spoil anything.
So where was I, oh yeah, the 70s multi-ethnic latin funk combo War. Slippin’ into today’s covers I’m going to lead with with a rare Afro-Rock version by Nigeria’s The Funkees. I also have a nickel bag of funky reggae and dub renditions from Carl Bradney, Sly & Robbie, Black Uhuru and Nonalinians. And as for the rest, Ramsey Lewis, Cleveland Eaton & The Kats, Dayton Sidewinders, Nafro, Tony And Reality and Beggar & Co. they’re all funkier than 19 yards of chitlins, with sardines and onions on the side.

The Funkees – Slippin’ Into Darkness

Carl Bradney – Slippin’ Into Darkness
Sly & Robbie – Slippin’ Into Darkness
Black Uhuru – Slippin’ Into Darkness
Nonalinians – Slippin’ Into Darkness

Ramsey Lewis – Slippin’ Into Darkness
Cleveland Eaton & The Kats – Slippin’ Into Darkness
Dayton Sidewinders – Slippin’ Into Darkness
Nafro – Slippin’ Into Darkness
Tony And Reality – Slippin’ Into Darkness
Beggar & Co – Slippin’ Into Darkness


PS For those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub not wearing leather vests and pumping black power fists during the 70s, got the original on the wall for you…


Lab Results

July 30th, 2012

Marc Mac, 1/2 of pioneering electronic neo soul/future jazz duo 4 Hero, takes a sabbatical from his outfit’s always stellar tributes of 70s soul classics to cover the unexpected. Under his Visioneers moniker he refashions analog pyschedlic pop track Come And Play In The Milky Night, by Stereolab, into a head pumping downtempo urban hymm. Our favorite cover of the year by far.

Visioneers – Come And Play In The Milky Night


PS Original ‘lab for those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub. You know where to look…

We’ve turned 4!

July 27th, 2012

Happy Birthday to us! It’s the 8th and final installment of Versions Galore’s 4th Anniversary Guest Cover Mix series…

HVW8, for the uninitiated, are an art collective made up of Gene Pendon, Tyler Gibney and Dan Buller who immoratlize their idols on canvas. Muhammad Ali, Fela, Stevie Wonder, Coxsonne Dodd, Serge Gainsbourg, Gil Scott Heron, Roy Ayers (to just scratch the surface) all get painted from a palette that is just as likely to include colors like funk, soul and afrobeat than just browns, oranges and blues. While they are in global demand, exhibiting anywhere from Parco (Tokyo) to Streetwise (London), HVW8 stay true to their musical roots by often painting in their natural environment; live music events. Indeed they can be found applying paint and pen soul alongside genre pushing luminaries like Bugz In The Attic, Gilles Peterson, Jazzanova and Roots Manuva. HVW8 are not afraid to share the limelight either. While hailing from Canada, they have established a firm base camp just off Melrose in Los Angeles in the form of the HVW8 Art + Design Gallery curating shows by the likes of Parra, Kevin Lyons, Ed Templeton, Geoff McFettridge and Michael Leon. And with that I’m excited and honored to pass today’s cover selector baton to HVW8’s Tyler Gibney.

Here is his mix:


And here is what he had to say:

Had a fun time pulling this together … and ended up with a lot or reggae versions. Always was a fan of Christine Lewis’s ‘Juicy Fruit’ along with Sly and Robbie covers. Tina Turner’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ is a slept on version as is Grace Jones remake of Tom Petty’s ‘Breakdown’. So many great songs I didn’t include … could have went on an hour more!
Recorded it live at the HVW8 Gallery in Los Angeles, Ca.

Fever – Susan Cadogan (Peggy Lee)
Whole Lotta Love – Tina Tuner (Led Zeppelin)
Light My Fire – Al Green (the Doors)
The Bed Too Big Without You – Shelia Hylton (the Police)
Southern Man – Merry Clayton (Neil Young)
Inner City Blues – Sly and Robbie (Marvin Gaye)
Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough – Derrick Laro & Trinity (Michael Jackson)
Shimmy Shimmy – Prince Fatty (ODB)
Juicy Fruit – Christine Lewis (Mtume)
Between The Sheets – Soul Clap (the Isley Brothers)
Come As You Are – Lil Roy (Nirvana)
You Belong To Me – Michael McDonald (I thought it was actually Carly Simon that recorded it first, but it was the Doobie Brothers in 1977)
Trans Europe Express – Senor Coconut (Kraftwerk)
Billie Jean – Sly and Robbie (Michael Jackson)
Light My Fire – Jose Feliciano (the Doors)
Breakdown – Grace Jones (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
Easy – Jimmy Lindsey (Commordores/Lionel Ritchie)
Walking on the Moon – Sly and Robbie (the Police)
Reasons – Seven Extension (Earth, Wind and Fire)
Summer Breeze – Jackie Mittoo (Seals and Crofts)
Roxanne – Okada with Ranking Roger (the Police)
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – Eddie Hazel (the Beatles)

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


PS Just wanted to give a huge shout out to all our 4th Anniversary guest DJs:
Thanks a million again for pullin through with some quality covers…

Versions Galore will return to it’s regularly scheduled cover-age next week…

We’ve turned 4!

July 23rd, 2012

Today’s entry is probably nepotism run amuck, but not without merit. I first mentioned my good friend Shockman last year, and how we both worked, some years ago, at a big electronic music rag. Two sarcastic Jews with an almost autistic knowledge of arcane music trivia cooped up in a tiny room 24/7 had all the trappings of a good sitcom.
While during the day Shockman is still the mild mannered but prolific music scribe, he is also known quite well in the Bay Area where he is the Don Gorgon at the crux of where reggae, bass, hiphop and electronic music meet. As a artist/producer he was creating dubstep as far back as 2001 and today still continues to push dub into new electronic frontiers (via the Voltage label). As a DJ he has been known to spin alongside such greats as Andrew Weatherall, Thievery Corporation, Jack Dangers, Fila Brazilia and DJ Z Trip as well as compiled albums for prodigious reggae label SelectCuts. I brought him into the fold for our 4th expecting a straightforward reggae cover versions comp, instead I got the inner wirings of the Shockman; a selector who truly knows how to flex his savvy with an eclectic covers mix of esoteric 80s, dark dub and other Jamaican niceties.

Here is his mix:

And here is what he had to say:

Jerusalem – Mark Stewart (William Blake/Sir Hubert Parry)
UK outer-dub producer Adrian Sherwood helps the Pop Group frontman destroy Parry’s Great War adaptation of mad free-loving mystic’s paen to England.

Kangaroo – This Mortal Coil (Big Star)
4AD supergroup peels the beats out of the Memphis proto-alt band’s dire mash note. “I saw you breathing/I saw you staring out in space”

Tainted Love – Coil (Gloria Jones)
The now-deceased queer-obscura pairing of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and Geff “Jhon Balance” Burton dirges out Marc Bolan’s girlfriend’s Northern Soul classic as part of their debut 12″ EP, the first AIDS benefit music release.

Ring of Fire – Wall of Voodoo (Johnny Cash)
Two years before instant stardom via “Mexican Radio,” the L.A.-based quintet quotes the theme to Our Man Flint during their synthy take on the Man in Black’s ode to June’s ring.

Don’t Look Back – Busty Brown (The Temptations)
Clancy Eccles presages Peter Tosh’s take with Mick Jagger over a decade later by throwing Count Busty in front of the mic. “You can’t run, you can’t hide…”

Let it Be – Soulettes (The Beatles)
Coxone Dodd gets Bob Marley’s girl group to cha-cha their way through a rocksteady take on Paul’s reassuring vision of his Mom.

All You Need is Love – Echo & the Bunnymen (The Beatles)
While they’re at it, Mr. Echo and crew quote Elvis, Dylan, James Brown, and others in their stoney swing Live at Eric’s.

Cease to Exist – Red Cross (Charles Manson)
The McDonald bros of Hawthorne ably glam up Charlie’s tribute to never learning not to love.

Viva La Rock ‘n’ Roll – Savage Republic (Alternative TV)
Tribalist post-punkers take a Dick Dale-inspired crack at ATV’s appreciation of “the city of the dead hero”.

Guns of Brooklyn – Santigold (The Clash)
With the help of golden boy Diplo, our Santi relocalizes the universal Ivan’s struggle. “You know it means no mercy…”

Sound of Silence – Current 93
Finally, Dave Tibet and his spectral crew weave in some herbs and Eliot into their acapella take on the nice boys’ bit of prophesy.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


PS Be sure to grab:
GUEST MIX N° 1 here…
GUEST MIX N° 2 here…
GUEST MIX N° 3 here…
GUEST MIX N° 4 here…
GUEST MIX N° 5 here…
GUEST MIX N° 6 here…  

PPS And be sure to tune in for our final anniversary installment later this week…

We’ve turned 4!

July 18th, 2012

As I’ve bitched, whined, moaned and lamented many a time here on this blog, had I not decided (somewhat arbitrarily) on cover versions, Versions Galore could have easily been an electronic music site. To be specific it would have focused on all manner of Balearic; classic house/acid house, cosmic disco, Giorgio Moroder, MADdchester, re-edits and pretty much everything short of the toenail clippings of great Andrew Weatherall. That was until I did a little pre-blog leg work and, lo, discovered that today’s selector The Acid House had already beaten me to it. That said Tim Acidhouse has been a regular visitor at Versions pretty much since day one, even being the first to go out on a limb and offer me a guest DJ spot (on his brilliant but short lived side project Together in Eclectic Dreams). Well today, many years later, better late than dead, I finally get the chance to return the favor.

Here is his mix:

And here is what he had to say:

When Leopold asked me to do a covers selection for Versions Galore it had me scratching my head thinking what to choose, while I like listening to a cover version I don’t actually collect many of them, and to make it more challenging some of my favourites had already been included in previous guest selections, namely the awesome Only Love Can Break Your Heart covered by St Etienne and Dear Prudence a childhood favourite covered by Siouxsie and the Banshees. So I thought I would trawl the shelves and find some covers of classic house, disco, rock and indie from a much loved era in my life. Meandering from a classic uk acid cover by The Fairey Brass Band, a house cover of Bohannans Lets Start The Dance Again, Simon Dupree’s Kites which Ultraviolet’s dance cover was championed by some emerging DJ called Sasha during the early 90s, through to the slightly uncomfortable but equally compelling electronic version of The Smiths – A Light That Never Goes Out, and ending on the dubby pop remake by Moodswings of Jon and Vangelis State of Independence aided by a somewhat overused sample in the late 80s and early 90’s but incredibly powerful speech of Martin Luther King. This is the covers selection by The Acid House.

01. The Fairey Brass Band – Voodoo Ray (A Guy Called Gerald)
02. Izit – Stories (The Chakachas’)
03. The Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letters (Shuggy Otis)
04. Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watch Tower (Bob Dylan)
05. Studio – Love on a Real Train (Tangerine Dream)
06. Jah Division – Transmission (Joy Division)
07. Ultraviolet – Kites (Simon Dupree and The Big Band Sound )
08. The Doves – Sympathy for the Devil (The Rolling Stones)
09. Sabres of Paradise – Smoke Belch II (LB Bad – New age of faith)
10. Schnieder TM – The Light 3000 (The Smiths)
11. Creative Source – Who Is He (Bill Withers)
12. Sir Stephen – Let’s Dance Again (Bohannon)
13. George Alexandra feat Big John Whitfield – Promise Land (Joe Smooth)
14. Tiedye – Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)
15. Nouvelle Vague – Our Lips Are Sealed (Fun Boy Three)
16. Moodswings – Spiritual High MLK version (Jon & Vangelis)

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


PS Be sure to grab:
GUEST MIX N° 1 here…
GUEST MIX N° 2 here…
GUEST MIX N° 3 here…
GUEST MIX N° 4 here…
GUEST MIX N° 5 here… 


We’ve turned 4!

July 16th, 2012

Happy Birthday to us! It’s Versions Galore’s 4th anniversary and we’re celebrating this month by letting some very special guests behind the cover versions controls…

When people wax nostalgic about music from the 80s, the reality is is that there were really two parallel 80s. For the masses there was the pop drivel of Debbie Gibson, Phil Collins, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Air Supply, and yes, even Olivia Newton John. But for a smaller segment of us, those misfits in the yearbook with the black shirts and asymmetrical hair of varying colors, we moved to a different soundtrack. Our rockstars were a disparate lot: PiL, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Sonic Youth, The Cure, English Beat, Love & Rockets, Jesus & Mary Chain and the list goes on. What most of the kiddies these days can’t wrap their head around is that there was no internet, no iTunes. If we we’re lucky our local Tower Records might have the NME or Melody Maker (our music Bibles) to peruse and then we had to dig, borrow and often plunk down double the money for costly imports. Still for a lot of us looking back it was THE golden age of music and no one keeps those days alive better in my opinion than today’s guest DJ, Slicing Up Eyeballs. Named from a line of a Pixies track, Slicing is the premier site for all music 80s (OUR 80s that is), including any new projects that our now, slightly greyer, slightly paunchier, but no less ambitious, favorite artists are up to. And with that i’m going to hand the reins over Slicing Up Eyeballs….

Here is his mix:

And here is what he had to say:

Covers seem to be a love/hate kind of thing, and I’ve always been firmly in the former camp. I like nothing better than hearing one of my favorite artists tackle someone else’s work, or vice versa. Plus, covers helped turn me into a record collector, back in those heady pre-Internet days when it actually took some effort to hunt down rare B-sides or vinyl-only EPs. These are some of my favorite covers by my favorite ‘80s college-rock artists, as well as a few more contemporary acts dipping their toes into that era.
– Matt Sebastian, founder/editor of Slicing Up Eyeballs: The Legacy of ‘80s College Rock

David Bowie – I’ve Been Waiting For You (Neil Young)
I may run a site dedicated ‘80s alternative artists, but Neil Young is quite possibly my all-time favorite musician. This is a great early song of his, and it was hard to choose between David Bowie’s cover and the Pixies’ version. Bowie’s has a bit more punch.

Ted Leo/Pharmacists – Six Months in a Leaky Boat (Split Enz)
Fell in love with this version after seeing Ted Leo play it at South By Southwest around 2004. He gives it great power-punk energy that now feels missing from the original, although I still love Split Enz’s version. It’s also where Leo got the title for the Pharmacists’ second album.

Primal Scream – Darklands (The Jesus and Mary Chain)
Love this just for the full-circleness of the whole thing; Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie played drums in the Jesus and Mary Chain on ‘Psychocandy,’ and here, a dozen years later, he covers the brilliant title track from the Mary Chain’s sophomore LP.

Depeche Mode – Route 66 (Nat King Cole)
This is one of the first covers I ever fell for; it was played incessantly on 91X in San Diego back in ’88 (and beyond, probably), and I had to search out the import ‘Behind the Wheel’ 12-inch just to get it. As a kid who grew up with cassettes, this was my entry into vinyl collecting.

The Damned – Alone Again Or (Love)
Another early favorite, and one of those songs that I didn’t know was a cover for an inexplicably long time. When I finally heard Love’s classic original, it sounded a bit quaint, but I’ve grown to really, er, love ‘Forever Changes.’

The House of Love – Pink Frost (The Chills)
One of those occasions when a criminally underrated band covers an even more underrated band’s song – and it’s a perfect fit. Pure indie-pop heaven.

U2 – Dancing Barefoot (Patti Smith)
I used to be a huge U2 fan, and this is one of the ‘Rattle & Hum‘ B-sides – which, as a whole, were just as great as the stuff that made it onto that unfairly maligned album. Features what may be my favorite solo by The Edge.

New Order – Turn the Heater On (Keith Hudson)
This may be the only cover New Order ever recorded; it’s a song originally by Keith Hudson, aka “The Dark Prince of Reggae,” that the group put down during a Peel session in 1982. Would love to hear Peter Hook play more dub.

Pixies – Winterlong (Neil Young)
This one is doubly special: My favorite Neil Young song covered by one of my absolute favorite bands, which is why it was my wife and I’s choice for our wedding song 10 years ago.

The Replacements – Monkey Gone to Heaven (Pixies)
This one’s a studio goof: The ‘Mats having a little fun with the ‘Doolittle’ classic during the recording of ‘Don’t Tell a Soul.’

Suede – Brass in Pocket (The Pretenders)
Not my favorite cover, but just the excuse I needed to slip another one of my favorite bands – and the true kings of Britpop – into this mix.

The Great Book of John – Never Tear Us Apart (INXS)
I’d never heard of The Great Book of John before their label sent me this cover last year, and honestly, I still don’t know much about them. But this is one of the best re-interpretations of a classic song I’ve ever heard. It’s brilliant.

The Cure – Hello, I Love You (Slight Return) (The Doors)
Back in 1990, Elektra Records asked bands on its current roster to cover the label’s classic acts for a compilation called ‘Rubáiyát,‘ and The Cure delivered three versions of this Doors hit (only two made it onto the comp). This is how Elektra closed out the 2-disc set.

The Flaming Lips – Unmade Bed/No Quarter (Sonic Youth/Led Zeppelin)
Not sure how it ever occurred to the Flaming Lips to merge this latter-day Sonic Youth album cut with one of Led Zeppelin’s murkiest tunes, but it totally works.

Echo & The Bunnymen – Paint It Black (Rolling Stones)
Another early favorite, and another example of radio play leading me to hunt down a 12-inch (in this case, it’s on the ‘Bedbugs and Ballyhoo’ single) just to get this live cut (they also do great takes on Television’s ‘Friction’ and the Velvet Underground’s ‘Run Run Run’ on this single). Like the Depeche Mode 12-inch, this one’s still in my collection.

Erasure – Just Can’t Get Enough (Depeche Mode)
And another full-circle thing: Erasure, featuring, of course, Depeche Mode co-founder Vince Clarke, takes a stab at DM’s earliest hit, and one that, in retrospect, sounds more like what we expect from Erasure these days than Depeche Mode.

Morrissey – That’s Entertainment (The Jam)
This cover always takes me back to the first time I saw Morrissey, at his first-ever U.S. solo concert in San Diego in 1991. It was an insane show with one of the wildest crowds I’ve ever seen, and Moz ended the main set with a roaring take on this Jam classic.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


PS Be sure to grab:
GUEST MIX N° 1 here…
GUEST MIX N° 2 here…
GUEST MIX N° 3 here…
GUEST MIX N° 4 here…